In December of 2012, a United States judge approved a lawsuit class action settlement of 1.1. billion dollars on behalf of plaintiffs who sued Toyota because of loss of value of their cars, which accelerated suddenly and without effort on behalf of the driver. The final hearing on this case was scheduled for June of this year.
16 million Toyotas, Scions, and Lexus automobiles manufactured from 1998 through 2010 are covered by the settlement, which alleged a link between the electronic throttle system and the unintended acceleration. Toyota agreed to the settlement, but did not acknowledge fault or any relationship between the electronic throttle system and the unintended acceleration. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration found no link between the two. The settlement does not cover the approximately 300 deaths, which attorneys claim are linked to the sudden acceleration of the vehicles.
Toyota voluntarily recalled its vehicles between 2009 and 2011 for issues related to the unintended acceleration, which resulted in damage to its reputation. Toyota is known for reliability and safety, and the company spokesman stated that the company was pleased that the settlement would provide value to Toyota owners, as well as providing an extra measure of confidence.
Toyota is the third largest automaker in the United States. Plaintiffs’ attorneys call the settlement the largest in United States history in a case involving defective cars.
The lawsuit settlement provides 500 million dollars in cash for consumers, and covers installation of brake override systems, with customer support.
Despite the settlement, there are other lawsuits in process as a result of the issue of unintended acceleration. These include injury and wrongful death. In one interesting case, the Orange County California District Attorney sued Toyota for unfair, unlawful, deceptive and fraudulent business practices. The suit was settled by Toyota for 16 million dollars, although no fault was admitted by Toyota.
The class action settlement affects any person or organization that, before December 28, 2012, owned, purchased, leased or insured for residual value one of multiple Toyota, Lexus or Scion vehicles. However, the class action does not include injuries from sudden and unintended acceleration of these vehicles, nor does it include wrongful death.
If you or a family member has experienced an injury or even death as a result of a vehicle accident involving sudden acceleration of a Toyota, Lexus, or Scion vehicle, you are not covered for these damages by the announced settlement, and should consult a personal injury attorney for an evaluation of your case.